Molly's Reviews

I Love You BecauseI Love You Because
Diana Rubino
Domhan Books

Charming Read . Well Recommended . 5 stars

It is August 1894 and red haired Vita Caputo lives with her family including father, brothers, step mother in New York City. Father Lorenzo and brothers Bruno and Vincente have little use for either the Irish or the police. Vita works in a sweatshop when a pick pocket makes a move that will change her life. Getting fired from her job, and meeting Tom McGlory both Irish and a copper will bring about changes in Vita's life that she had never imagined. When Tom's cousin is murdered and all the evidence points straight to Vita's family Vita is sure her nice Irish cop will turn away from her. Things are not always as they seem as Vita soon learns. Hot weather forces New Yorkers out onto fire escapes to sleep. Vita's dreams of independence, a fortune teller with a purple door, a bohemian, boarding house and meeting church all figure in this tale of romance, politics, intrigue, fifty shares of GE stock and a church wedding.

"I Love You Because" is a remarkably accomplished work with transitions so smooth one scene slides into another without the reader noticing. Rubino's matchless voice and charming attention to detail once again hold her in good stead on the pages of this pre cursor to her later works. Once again writer Rubino obviously has done much research into the time and place that was New York City at the turn of the century. Under the pen of this talented writer the reader is carried into the heart of politics, murder and chaos that was rampant during that hectic time.

A fast-paced chronicle "I Love You Because" is a real page turner. From the opening paragraph as we follow Vita from putting on her stockings into the kitchen at six in the morning after working until midnight to make shirts she could not afford to buy, right down to the last page as Vita sits in her new parlor with the people most important to her the reader is kept enthralled.

Rubino's talent for cleverly twisting, perilous scenarios filled with struggle, powerful motivations and richly portrayed characters again comes to life. Vita's courage, determination and plain old grit are admirable. >From quiet dutiful girl to compelling woman who can not only stand up for herself, but wage battle for others Vita Caputo grows before our eyes. Tom McGlory is a likeable fellow we would all enjoy having in our own family lineage.

Great book for a long and lazy summer afternoon spent sipping tea and reading for pleasure. "I Love You Because" will make a nice addition to the family library for those who have a love for history, adventure and bit of romance thrown in.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.

It Was Like ThisIt Was Like This
Diana Rubino
Domhan Books

Enjoyable Read . Recommended . 5 stars

It is March 1932 when Billy McGlory's girlfriend Pru tells him she is pregnant. Musician Billy owns, plays piano in and helps run a speakeasy, his dad is Tom McGlory, Chief of Police, Mom Vita cooks mean Italian, sister Susan provides strength when he needs it and younger sister Tess insists she must read his fortune whenever he comes around. Billy dreams of having his own swank supper club, marries artist Pru, becomes involved with the mob, loses a half filled truck to a hijacker and about gets his brains beat out, and this is just the beginning. Billy and another leading musician write the music for a broadway play based on the book written by old friend Greta Schliessmayer. He pushes aside the fact that it is the mob who has underwritten his hit musical. Underworld figures including Capone, artists and assorted others move in and out of McGlory's life. Assassins sent to do Billy in manage to shoot Sid Cunningham, bad cop who was supposed to be keeping an eye on Billy and his family, but in reality hijacked the truck. More threats, Pru's dependence on heroin and it is payback time for mobster boss Louie Q and his buddies.

It is abundantly clear that Writer Rubino has done her homework in this sequel to 'I Love You Because." Her New York City during the height of the Depression and the Prohibition comes alive under the accomplished pen of this clever writer. The spectacle, noise, aroma of the city leap from the page as the reader moves from setting to setting in this commanding read.

"It Was Like This" is a gripping, fast paced account filled with ingeniously interwoven, suspenseful scenarios. The reader is drawn straight into the narrative from the opening lines of the prologue when we find Billy McGlory laying bleeding in the street and interest is held fast down to the last paragraph of the epilogue as we read McGlory's final journal entry. Rubino's obvious talent is evident on the pages of this intricate narrative, in which potent motivations, generously drawn characters, and gritty hard hitting dialogue abound. Strife is copious and fittingly resolved. Billy, his family, Pru, mobster Rosie all come across as real people suffering many of the same ups and downs as do we all. Billy's determination to protect his family despite the facts of his life on more than the edges of the underworld is something we can admire.

Watch the red herrings. Writer Rubino just may catch you napping with her most fitting ending as she brings "It Was Like This" to a close.

Fine addition to the home library if you enjoy historical fiction filled with a touch of romance, and a whole lot of action.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.

 

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2005 by Molly Martin